Hungry baby or feed more often??

(39 Posts)
BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 10:22:43

Hello - my nearly 6 week old lo is feeding 4 hourly thru the nite at the minute, however during the day he is still wanting a feed every two hours. I'm feeding him 4 hourly in the day but as I say he wants one every 2 hours so I spend 2 hours between his day feeds trying to pacify him and feel really cruel sad my hv told me tho to start stretching out his feeds to get him in a routine, which has worked at nite.
Should I just feed him more often in the day? Would this mess up his nite time routine or should I put him on hungrier milk to satisfy him during the day? Any advice would be much appreciated smile

tiktok Mon 09-Sep-13 10:27:43

HV very unhelpful sad

Your baby is tiny - only 6 weeks. Why would you want to distress him by 'making' him go longer between feeds than he is 'asking' to? If he was a toddler/pre-schooler, and able to say 'please can I have a drink?' would you say 'no, it's less than 4 hours since you had one'? Do many adults always leave four hours between having something to eat and drink?

2 hours of pacifying to refuse a feed is a long time for a tiny baby. It's fine to feed in response to his needs. I can't see why this would make him ask more often at night. He is feeding relatively infrequently at night - it's not surprising he wants to feed more often in the day smile

Do what you know your baby needs and feed him when he asks smile

Hungry baby milk only fills him up more, and isn't more nutritionally dense. More normal stage 1 milk is the right stuff.

Would he take another ounce or so at each feed? Or smaller bottles more often if you're worried about overfeeding?

And ignore the hv who isn't helping you with the two-hour screaming sessions. What an unhelpful bag.

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 10:36:11

My hv advised this when I mentioned that he was being feeding little and often and she said at this age he should start getting into more of a routine (I too thought too early/tiny surely) anyway she advised to top up his formula by an oz and as I say stretch to four hourly - sometimes in the day he will go 3 hours and I always end up giving him a feed half hour before 'I'm supposed to' just because I feel so sorry for him crying! Is it too early to expect him to be in a routine yet? He only sleeps approx half hour to 45 mins in the day after each feed (silent refluxer and trapped wind) so as you can imagine he is awake along time between feeds in the day and so needs alot of pacifying/entertaining!

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 10:42:38

HorryIsUpduffed he is on 6oz at the min on comfort milk (also has colic/constipation) does this seem a lot? As u can tell i am a ftm lol! He won't take anymore in the day than this due to falling asleep / trapped wind / reflux! Poor little thing as everything at the minute sad hv is coming on Thursday so i will ask again about stretching out his feeds - a relative told me they thought her baby was colicky/refluxer but she then found out she was just a hungrier baby by changing her milk, think I'm just hoping it could be the miracle cure :/

I don't know about quantities per feed. What does he get in a whole day? Check that against the chart on the tin for a guideline.

Six weeks old is no age at all. And he is in a routine, just not the one the hv prefers. He may just be having a grow.

I am really against hungry baby milk as I think it is a con. Hungry babies need more milk, not less!

dingledongle Mon 09-Sep-13 10:48:06

I would feed him more often, he may be going through a growth spurt. I would trust your instinct on this one.

Clearly the HV does not have to sit and listen to darling baby cry! Would you refuse food to a two year old if they were hungry I think not!

I FF both my children and moved them on to hungrier baby when we could no longer fit the amount of formula needed in bottle( 9 oz I think from memory!). One used to drink an entire bottle and then cry for more! I fed my children on demand even though they were FF. When they were hungry I feed them. They are both at school now and very healthy weight and height, fit and active so do not be afraid or bow to the pressure of others......Trust your instinct

You can expect a loose routine to start appearing at this age but to be honest babies are ever changing- could be growing, teething or a little under the weather. Difficult to know for sure.

Hope that helps.....

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 11:11:55

Well it advises for his age 6 feeds per 24hrs and around 5-6ozs, so he is doing that but only because I feel I'm forcing him to wait till the 4th hour each time! It is a lot of pressure u get so much conflicting advice - hardcore mums saying get them in a routine n then others saying to feed on demand?? So confusing lol! I think he is doing well sleeping for four hours at nite, he'll av his last feed at half 10pm then wake around 3am then again at 7am, and obv my dp is really pleased with this coz he gets more sleep (typical man) and tells me if I change his day feeds now to when lo wants them it will mean he'll start doing that thru the nite too :/

tiktok Mon 09-Sep-13 11:15:02

Does your dh seriously think your baby is capable of working out 'hmmmm....mummy fed me after only 2 hours today, I have got her where I want her! Bwahahahaha! I will start waking up after 2 hours at night now! teeheehee!'

Babies cannot tell the time. They cannot judge time. They cannot plan. They cannot manipulate. They cannot think ahead.

They are babies. At 6 weeks old, your baby only knows something is not right, and he cries because of this.

Theas18 Mon 09-Sep-13 11:16:59

Just feed him as he needs. He's small and still very new. If he was breast fed there wouldn't be this worry. 6 weeks is classic growth spurt territory. Some babies just need a lot of feeds. You might find his " colic/unsettled" problem is really that he'd rather be fed more often and not be so very hungry he feeds too fast and maybe gets " over filled" .

You might, if things don't settle down in a few weeks just keep weather eye on his weight but don't worry about it now.

I wouldn't be too concerned about sleep- on the whole as they get older babies sleep better ( with the exception of some 4 month olds that regress a bit) and being less hungry in the day might help him settle better at night if anything

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 11:25:58

Yes I thought it could be a growth spurt - but I've been trying this for a week and he is still wanting his day feed every two hours, part of me thinks if he slept better/longer in the day then he prob would go four hours but he is so unsettled during the day.
Don't worry tiktok as soon as he starts crying for his night feed at 3am I hold him as close to my dp's ear as possible ;)
I think he will get in more of a routine once he (fingers crossed) grows out of this colic/reflux stage! It's also hard to recognise if it is actual hunger as he is a big comfort sucker too and also he must be uncomfortable with his trapped wind, I know some mums can distinguish the different cries but I really can't sad

armsandtheman Mon 09-Sep-13 11:32:47

My DD was on 8 smaller bottles a day at that age I think. My HV advised not to use the hungry baby milk as it has the same calories as the normal one and so they are getting less than they need iyswim. I was quite worried as I wasn't in 6 bottle routine at this age but she wasn't at all. Hang in there!

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 11:56:45

I remember my MW telling me to not use it unless it was to prevent early weaning. As she said it can give them constipation, which he already has so dont want to make it any worse!
Think I will just feed him when he wants it - it really does sound cruel if I say it otherwise - 'no I'll make him wait'
If it means he is up more in the nite then so be it, this us what we all sign up for when having babies right?

kalidasa Mon 09-Sep-13 12:17:27

My baby is 9 months now but in the early months I kept a log of feeds and I've just had a look at it. When he was six weeks old he was feeding every two hours, with perhaps one three hour gap in the afternoon! Admittedly this was breastfeeding but there's no way I could have got him to go four hours at that stage, would have been torture for everyone! DS didn't nap for long either, I think being awake more does make them hungrier!

kalidasa Mon 09-Sep-13 12:19:19

Oh and don't worry about finding it hard to tell the difference between different cries, I found this takes a while but you do get the hang of it in the end. 6 weeks is a really hard point, the baby is so demanding and you are really exhausted. It does get easier and less baffling/relentless soon.

DS was also a 'sucky' baby and we found a dummy a HUGE help.

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 12:28:07

Thank Kalidasa I agree I think that's why he sleeps well at nite as he is awake more during the day! I was also tld by hv he shouldn't b awake anymore than an hour but I would of thought that was in his very early weeks! It's mainly his constipation that stops him from sleeping any longer he wakes himself up crying trying to push, it is heartbreaking sad he can't/won't poo unless I take his nappy off and push his legs towards his belly, in asking doctor about that this afternoon, however she wasn't too helpful last time either!

rockybalboa Mon 09-Sep-13 13:08:22

He's 6 weeks and doing 4 hours at night and 2 hours during the day? What the actual fuck is your HV on about, this is totally and absolutely fine and you do NOT need to artificially try and stretch out his feeds. What a load of guff.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 13:16:16

Feed more often and up the oz. Hungry baby milk should be a last resort.

kalidasa Mon 09-Sep-13 13:37:19

Well DS has NEVER slept more than 12 hours out of 24 unless he is ill. He was like that immediately and is still the same at 9 months old. Some babies are just not so sleepy I think. I felt a bit cheated out of all those newborn naps though!

I think you should ignore the HV and feed him when he seems hungry. You could always give smaller bottles more often perhaps? If anything he'll probably feed less at night if he is getting as much as he wants/needs during the day.

Artandco Mon 09-Sep-13 14:04:11

I would say 2-3 hrs in day, and put back to sleep 90 mins after he last woke

Ie:
7am- wake
8.30- nap
9- wake
10.30 -nap
11.30 wake
1pm nap

Around 3 months old I would try and move to 3 naps a day with the eventual aim of after Lunch being the longest nap

Poppet45 Mon 09-Sep-13 14:32:04

If your LO is refluxy lots of small feeds is much easier on their tummies than massive bottles few and far betwwen. Reflux is basically like the worst sort of heartburn and LO is using milk to ease their sore throat and tummy. Last thing they need is that sort of advice from a hv. Never mind a routine, if lo isnt settling in a week or so I'd be looking at ways to ease their pain. Most silent reflux and colic is now thought to be an immune response/intolerance to cows milk. A change in formula to a prescription one suitable for allergies and or meds may be much more use.

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 09-Sep-13 14:38:56

Op

My daughter whos now 11 months had silent reflux and colic.

Bont bother with special milk like comfort milk for colic as it makes no different, neither do the anti colic bottles i spent a fortune on.

I wouldnt give a colic baby hungry baby milk as its harder to digest and will make his windy tummy worse!

Plus hungry baby milk should only been given when a baby is draining a full 9oz bottle every 2 hours.

My dd was fed every 3 hours. Never every 4 hours.

If he/she is hungry, feed them. I wouldnt stretch the feeds out if baby is hungry.

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 15:00:01

He is currently on gaviscon but it makes his milk thick and he struggles with the next size up teat so ends up covered in most of it! I'm going to ask gp if there is anything else he can have. I didn't think it was cows milk allergy or intolerance as he refluxes when drinking water too? Has a little water inbetween feeds for his constipation. So I assumed it wasn't an allergy if it happens with water too??
He's just gone 3 hours since last feed and had 5ozs n that's not me stretching him out so he's sleeping now and will do till about 4 max!
I did also read somewhere an oz equals an hour?? I'm guessing this isn't right?

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 15:02:53

GoingUpInTheWorld did your lo just grow out of their colic/reflux? Everyone keeps telling me he will grow out of his colic by 8-10 weeks but reflux could be here to stay for a while longer?

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 09-Sep-13 15:17:00

Doctors say that they grow out of colic by 13 weeks. However my daughter didnt grow out of it until around 6 months. Same for the silent reflux.

It does get better though, its just very stressful waiting for it to go as nothing really works.

The gaviscon didnt really work either, but i still persisted with it. I think dd had the gaviscon for about 3 months. But she didnt start the gaviscon till 3 months old.

Between 6 and 7 months old was a real turning point for dd as she settled really well, no more crying for hours and hours.

I remeber crying at the health visitor centre were they are weighed because she just screamed constantly, and everyone was looking at me and commenting about whats wrong with her.

Now its a different story!

The colic milk sets in the bottom of the bottles, smells horrid and give baby stinky nappies that used to leak everywhere.

She was much better on aptimal first milk. It didnt solve the problem but it was much nicer milk that the comfort one.

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 15:35:31

Tell me about it the aptimal comfort absolute reeks and his bibs end up stinking after one use! I keep thinking about changing back to the first milk but I don't want to make his constipation worse, so hard to know what to do for the best. I can completely relate to the crying in public - I'm scared to take him anywhere in case he has a crying fit or he needs feeding whilst out, really hard feeding him in public when he has reflux! I swapped to the comfort because I thought he was gagging/choking/arching his back because of colic but now I 'know' it's silent reflux, aptimal do a reflux milk too but I've heard it's like sma staydown n again is bad for constipation. I didn't know if he was too young for ranitidine? But gp's reluctant to prescribe I think!

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 09-Sep-13 15:44:53

Rantidine is seen as a last resort.

My friends child had it and it made no difference, her baby still puked everywhere after every feed.

Is your baby actually sick?

My dd was never actually sick.

I remember going to my doctors when dd was 14 weeks old, and saying to the doctor well all the books and professionals say it should be gone this colic by 13 weeks and now shes 14 weeks and its still just as bad! He looked at me like this hmm

It made me realize though that babies dont do what the books and professional say they do!!!!

What milk was you using before the comfort milk. Has the comfort milk helped with the constipation?

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 15:56:23

No he's not sick and gp looked at me gone out when I said it was silent reflux, said she had never heard of it! Think I know more than her 2bh about reflux/silent reflux. I'm going to see her again this afternoon so I'll see what she has to say this time.
He was on the first milk before but no the comfort has improved his constipation sad and he's been on it for 3 weeks now! Think I will swap back. The gaviscon does work to a point but its definitely not a miracle cure and his constipation is that bad now since he's been on it that he only poos when I help him push it out, so upsetting seeing him cry all time for one thing or the other sad
My mum says there is only thing that will cure it all and that's time, I'm starting to believe she's right!

gretagrape Mon 09-Sep-13 16:01:53

Your HV sounds shit. A routine at 6 weeks?? Your 6 week old's tummy is still so, so tiny and may not even physically capable of taking in enough milk to last 4 hours.

I got so many different answers about every subject from different HV's that in the end I didn't bother asking as I think it was actually preventing me from developing my own instincts.

Don't feel guilty about feeding your baby earlier than your dopey HV has said you are "supposed" to - it just means you care and want the best for your bub and you are trusting that your instincts are right and that deep down you know her advice was crap.

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 09-Sep-13 16:05:35

Reflux is were a baby is constantly sick

Silent reflux is were a baby is not sick but has basically heartburn through the stomach refluxing acid back up the wind pipe.

Was it aptimal that he was on?

I believe aptimal is easier to digest than the other milks. For constipation buy some not from concentrate orange juice in a carton and put a very small amount in his bottle and dilute with water. I believe that does really help.

So basically you have a colic baby, whos very constipated and has heartburn?

I think the gaviscon is making him more constipated and probaly making him more in pain.

Have a chat with your gp.

Did he have constipation before you started the gaviscon?

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 16:12:58

That about sums him up yes smile
Yh he did have constipation before gaviscon 2bh but I think that was down to change in formula to comfort milk but hv said to persevere with the comfort milk for his colic - i think 3 weeks is enough now?
Yh I use aptimal, was told to stay clear of sma and c&g is apparently same company as aptimal?
I will definitely try the orange juice thanx, would u say 1oz juice to 4oz water? its just hard getting him to drink anything without the gaviscon in - such a vicious circle!

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 09-Sep-13 17:15:12

Yes that amount of orange plus water is fine. Or you could try half an oz and 4 oz of water.

I only put my dd on colic milk for a few weeks. When you change milks, its suppose to take a week to take effect.

I think aptimal is a brand on its own but im not sure.

Its really hard to know whats best when they are like this, you try everything. I spent a fortune with stupid fads thats were suppose to help like ifacol, dentix drops etc, anti colic bottles. Its all to make you buy it as they know that parents will try anything if they think it will help.

ExBrightonBell Mon 09-Sep-13 18:28:41

You shouldn't give a baby that isn't weaned (under 6 months) fruit juice even if it's diluted. If the constipation is continuing and causing a lot of pain then really it needs a GP to prescribe something.

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 18:30:13

Well gp has just said to carry on with the gaviscon even if its only helping a little and to come off the comfort milk too as lo prob doesn't like the taste or consistency. Soo its back to the first milk and if he has put enough weight on he can have two sachets in each bottle! She did also say to try and stretch his stomach. And he should outgrow it once on solids, seems a lifetime away sad
I couldn't agree more with the anti colic marketing, I was contemplating the dr browns bottles but when I've looked more in to them the reviews are 50/50 anyway!

BettyBoo246 Mon 09-Sep-13 18:32:28

ExBrightonBell - just asked gp about his constipation and she only advised water between feeds! Gp not the most helpful 2bh but will ask hv too on Thursday.

Ragusa Mon 09-Sep-13 19:36:05

Your healthcare professionals sound like a right shower TBH. Can you change practices?

First off, drinking 6 oz every 4 hrs is going to make most 6 week olds puke. It's too much I reckon, every 2 or 3 hours might suit him better..

Second, don't rule out cows' milk allergy. Despite the fact he also spits up water it may still be this - it really upsets the digestive system. Hydrolysed formula is worth a try.

Gaviscon is notorious for causing constipation. There is something you can buy called carobel ( special order from boots, but cheap) instead. Not as constipating.

His sleep is amazing by the way.

Eatchocolatedrinkgreentea Wed 11-Sep-13 20:33:02

My DS is 7weeks and has been taking 5oz every 3/4 hours for about 3/4 weeks now, the last 4 days he was searching for a feed during the day after 2 hours so yesterday afternoon I upped his feed to 6oz. Now an hour or so after feeds we have a screaming baby tbh he started like this on Sunday but I put it down to trapped wind. I'm
Now thinking it could be that plus the 6oz is too heavy for him? My gut instinct is also telling me to reduce feed back down to 5oz. Am I right or is it his body getting used to the extra ounce? With 6oz he goes 4/5 hours. X

LadyGoodman Wed 11-Sep-13 20:40:00

Your HV is an idiot though think other posters have told u that already grin

My lo went no more than 3hr between feeds ever!! smaller bottles more often seems best way forward

Ragusa Wed 11-Sep-13 20:54:09

Eatchocolatedrinkgreentea, I would be tempted to try just giving him a bit less a bit more often, so more overall but less at one sitting IYSWIM. I know it's a pain in the bum, but what happens if you feed him, say, 3 or 4 oz every couple of hours? I would follow your gut instinct.

Does he have a dummy? Maybe he just wants to suck and is getting too much milk ...?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now